Newcastle United are reportedly interested in signing Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel and have made a lucrative offer to entice the Belgian enforcer to move to Tyneside.
According to Italian outlet TuttoJuve, Newcastle have allegedly tabled a tempting contract offer to Borussia Dortmund and Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel, a transfer target for Serie A giants Juventus.
The 32-year-old midfielder’s contract expires at the end of the season, and it seems he is set to run down his term with Dortmund to either leave in January or next summer on a free. The Belgium international will be free to open talks and sign a pre-contract agreement with an overseas club ahead of a free transfer next season from January 1, as he enters the final six months of his deal at Signal Iduna Park.
This contract situation has piqued the interest of several clubs across Europe, with Juventus planning to sign the player on a Bosman move next year as a replacement for the exit-bound Weston McKennie, who is courting heavy interest from multiple Premier League clubs.
Unfortunately for Bianconeri, Newcastle, with their deep-pockets, have also entered the race to sign Axel Witsel in January and are willing to spend big to secure the player’s signatures. The Belgian star banks approximately €7 million per year with Dortmund. The Magpies, on the other hand, are offering a contract worth almost €10 million per season, a staggering sum good enough to blow Juventus out of the competition.
Ever since their Saudi-led takeover has gone through, the Magpies have been linked with many huge names. The likes of Eden Hazard, Toni Kroos and Mauro Icardi have been mentioned as possible transfer targets. Many of these names are unrealistic, with agents and clubs spinning tales in the market to take advantage of Newcastle’s newfound wealth.
Witsel, though, seems a much-realistic target. Although he is a top-quality midfielder, he had a past of sealing big-money moves as seen by his brief stints in Russia and China. Nevertheless, he reignited his career since joining Dortmund in the summer of 2018 and has been a mainstay in Die Schwarzgelben’s midfield. The Belgian enforcer has featured in each of the 18 games played this campaign, which signifies his importance to the Bundesliga outfit.
Witsel would indeed be a sensational swoop for Newcastle and considering he can be signed for next to nothing, he would be an absolute steal. He also has former ties to the Magpies’ coaching staff, with assistant head coach Graeme Jones having worked with him with the Belgium national team setup.
Witsel is primarily a defensive midfielder but can operate in a box-to-box midfield role. An intelligent reader of the game, he boasts a decent passing ability to maintain the tempo of the game. He would undoubtedly be an upgrade on most of Newcastle’s current midfield roster and add his wealth of top-level experience.
But turning 33 in January means he is not getting any younger and forking out massive wages on a player just a few years away from his twilight years makes little sense. The St. James’ Park outfit have recently been linked to French midfield sensation Aurelien Tchouameni, and that would be a more exciting option than Witsel.